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October 2010 Archives

High Court Clarifies Landmark 'Mode of Operation' Rule

In the landmark decision Kelly v. Stop & Shop, 281 Conn. 768 (2007), the Supreme Court adopted the "mode of operation" rule, an exception to the traditional premises liability doctrine, which dispenses with the requirement that a plaintiff prove that a business had actual or constructive notice of the specific unsafe condition giving rise to the plaintiff's injury. Pursuant to the rule, a plaintiff establishes a prima facie case of negligence upon presentation of evidence that the mode of operation of the defendant's business gives rise to a foreseeable risk of injury to customers and that the plaintiff's injury was proximately caused by an accident within the zone of risk. In Fisher v. Big Y Foods, Inc., 298 Conn. 414 (2010), the high court was faced with deciding what facts and circumstances give rise to a plaintiff's right to recover under this rule.